So far, many companies have been able to easily bypass the home office obligation introduced in the spring
Roland Holschneider / dpa
According to SPIEGEL information, Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) has given up his resistance to an obligation by companies to provide a range of corona tests.
But the economy is still trying to somehow prevent such a statutory test obligation.
To this end, the major trade associations BDA, BDI, DIHK and ZDH have jointly presented specific proposals as to how the range of tests in companies can be increased.
In a paper that is available to the »Handelsblatt«, they propose, among other things, cooperation between chambers and municipal test centers - so that small businesses can have their employees tested there.
The procurement of tests could be made easier if the federal government would make self-test contingents that have been ordered and which are not requested by government agencies, available to the economy.
In addition, in their letter to the federal government, the associations demand that all test forms are suitable, including rapid tests that the employees carry out themselves. Documentation obligations presented companies with disproportionate challenges.
Numerous companies had already created voluntary test offers for their employees, but that was not enough for the government.
As can be seen from a draft of the regulation, which is available to SPIEGEL, they should in future make tests available once a week.
For example, anyone who has a lot of customer contact, works under climatic conditions in closed rooms that favor infection, or lives in shared accommodation should be entitled to two tests.
Business association speaks of the "act of desperation" of politics
According to the draft, companies do not have to document that their employees actually use the offers.
However, evidence of obtaining the tests must be retained.
According to the news agency dpa, self-tests paid for by the company should also be possible for employees.
The Federal Cabinet will decide on the obligation to test and extend the Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance on Tuesday.
The business associations, however, appeal to the federal government, the companies have already shown a high level of commitment on a voluntary basis, which would be endangered by a legal regulation.
"Instead, as part of a public-private partnership, we should build on the previous achievements of the economy and expand the contribution made by companies to health protection," according to the "Handelsblatt" in the paper.
Fear of a shortage of tests
Overall Metal President Stefan Wolf had already sharply criticized a mandatory test on Sunday.
He spoke of a political "act of desperation in order to divert attention from one's own failures", for example with the problems with vaccination.
It is more credible if the state sets a good example: »Almost five million people work in the public sector in Germany.
How many of them are being tested regularly each week? ”He asked.
An obligation to test all employees twice a week means, even with a home office rate of 50 percent, that around 45 million quick tests have to be available week after week, according to Wolf.
Then the federal government would also have to ensure that these - he estimates at costs of more than seven billion euros per month - are available.
"Experience so far does not suggest that it will work."
The family entrepreneurs also sharply criticized it.
President Reinhold von Eben-Worlée said: "Compulsory testing only means additional personnel and financial expenditure - provided the companies can even get enough tests." Furthermore, many questions are open: "How are the companies controlled?
Who reports the results to where?
Until when will there be digital solutions?
What if employees don't want to be tested or the works council doesn't play along? "
On the other hand, the German Trade Union Federation (DGB) is in favor of compulsory testing.
The economy Veronika Grimm had also pleaded for companies to be legally obliged to carry out corona tests for employees.
"It is far more expensive to reduce the number of infections reliably and to keep them low."
apr / dpa